Reviewer:Green Field Recordings
September 22, 2011 Subject:
James Wyness - The Bridge (GFR 027)
The Bridge [14:51] is one of the series of four works entitled Centre and Edge, a result of research into specific compositional practices, the production of space, the anthropology of place names, paleoanthropology, human marks on the land and the natural and human history of Southern Scotland. Field work began in 2009 when I investigated a range of environments and sonic phenomena in the Scottish Borders and North Northumberland, the focus of my digital sound archive.
The piece is composed from field recordings taken in and around the Monteviot Suspension Bridge, a footbridge over the River Teviot in the Scottish Borders. The bridge, activated by natural phenomena and 'played' by me and my young children, was recorded using a variety of microphones. I also captured the sounds of a variety of fence wires, energised by high winds and rain, incidental electronic interference from recording equipment, and agricultural installations.
The wealth and complexity of vertical relationships between the various sound sources and their transformations helps the work to defy linear time and to simply exist as a living moving organic whole between and beyond the speakers.
The Bridge, along with the companion pieces in the series, gives the impression of a massive installation in which microphones have been left open for long durations in various outdoor spaces, attached to built structures, then all sources fed into the same listening space. The four pieces of the series have been produced to work both individually as stereo works and together as an eight channel sound installation.
Ultimately The Bridge is an engagement with chosen aspects of a regional soundscape, considered to be significant for a variety of reasons above and beyond their sonic interest.